New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley today attended the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for the first time after undergoing a kidney transplant in May. Jaitley, who has been recuperating after surgery, came to the House on a day when Rajya Sabha voted to elected JD (U) member Harivansh as Deputy Chairman.
Rajya Sabha MPs, including Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, welcomed him back in the House. He is Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed happiness on Jaitley’s presence in the House.
Jaitley, who had kept away from public appearance for almost four months, acknowledged the greetings. Jaitley was holding the charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs ministries before the surgery. As he underwent the renal transplant on May 14, his ministerial charges were given to Piyush Goyal on an interim basis. While welcoming Jaitley, Azad suggested that he should take more rest.
Modi, who joined the House after completion of the voting process, said: “I am happy that the Leader of the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley is present today” and recovering. Jaitley also accompanied Harivansh to the designated seat of Deputy Chairman in the House, which is next to that of the Leader of Opposition.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, members welcomed him with thumping of desks. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked members not to go near Jaitley or touch him, apparently to protect him from contracting any infection.